"You can't have your cake and eat it too," goes the old English adage. Yet with a record consortium offer of $20.7 billion for the lucrative midstream pipeline assets of the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc), the Emiratis can be pardoned for believing you can. The multibillion dollar transaction allows Adnoc to "tap new pools of global institutional investment capital”, while retaining full operating control over the assets with 51 % hold, the company said.
Brookfield Asset Management, Singapore’s sovereign wealth fund GIC, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board, South Korea's NH Investment & Securities and Italy’s Snam comprise the consortium. It maintains that it benefits from investing in quality infrastructure "with a low risk profile" and steady cash flow generation.
"This milestone transaction demonstrates the trust and confidence placed in Adnoc by the global investment community and unlocks significant value from our pipeline portfolio, following last year’s groundbreaking oil pipeline infrastructure investment partnership,” said Adnoc group chief executive and Minister of State, Dr Sultan Al Jaber.
Tuesday's announcement marks the second capital inflow into Abu Dhabi’s energy infrastructure following $5bn last year from investors including BlackRock and KKR for leasing rights to its oil pipelines.
The investment reflects "continued strong interest in Adnoc's low-risk, income-generating assets," setting another benchmark for large-scale energy infrastructure investments in the UAE and the wider region, Dr Al Jaber added.
All of the consortium partners expressed similar positive sentiments regarding their collaboration with Adnoc. Global Infrastructure Partners chairman and managing partner Adebayo Ogunlesi was representative of the whole: "Adnoc's gas network is a core piece of midstream infrastructure in the UAE and this transaction presents a unique opportunity to invest in an asset of this quality and importance, while also supporting Adnoc in their smart growth strategy.”